Here is my contribution to Perfect Moment Monday. Writing this was a perfect moment for me because I was able to articulate publicly how I felt and now feel about my self image.
When I was young, my body was a big issue for me. I was never overweight but had my "problem" areas. It stinks looking back on how badly I felt then. I had myself convinced that I could never wear sleeveless shirts, bikini's, or any sort of form fitting clothing. I lost a lot of brain cells worrying about my body. I know I am not different from many women. Growing up girls face a lot of scrutiny and we are always harder on ourselves than we need to be.
I felt my problem areas were my upper arms and stomach. I carry my weight in my stomach. That can be good and bad at the same time. I have very skinny legs and no hips or butt, BUT the stomach thing was all I could focus on. When I sit down I have two stomachs or rolls (such a lovely term). I would obsess about sitting down and worrying if anyone would catch on that I had fat on my stomach. Geez. How much energy did I waste on this?
In college I gained the usual weight. It wasn't Freshman year though, it was when I lived in Italy while studying abroad. Beer and pasta, need I say more? I was ten pounds overweight in college which isn't all that bad but at 5'3" wasn't all that good either.
Anyway, the point of my little story here is that at some point after I graduated college and my lifestyle changed, I lost those ten pounds, dropped a size and had never felt so good about my body. I still did not have a flat stomach and I still did not have skinny arms, but I began the cathartic process as a woman of accepting my body. I wore clothes with confidence. I didn't constantly worry if a smidgen of fat would show when I sat down.
I didn't care anymore. And, epiphany time here- I realized the boys did not care either!!!
I remember the day that somebody described me as tiny. For as long as I can remember I had a morphed image of what my person looked like. I thought I looked big. The truth is that I was of medium build or as my mother described me, just plain normal for my age. I was not skinny as a rail nor was I overweight. I am a muscular person and have a small to medium build and as stated before I am not tall. That one statement about me changed my entire perspective of myself. I began to see myself for who I really was. Mainly, I stopped beating myself up for not exercising or eating this or that. It seems like the moment I ceased letting this image problem be such an issue, the issue disappeared.
This leads to my title. I cannot take credit for this title. My college roommate and I had the same body type, and she coined this ingenious description of our body style.
Definition: skinny legs, no hips, average chest size B cup, but weight in the stomach region.
We both had nicknames for our guts. Mine was Ralph and hers was Sean. Why they were male names I have no idea. "Oh, Sean is hungry." "Does Ralph really show in this shirt?" We had a sense of humor about it and tried not to take our bodies so seriously (even on the days we were late to class due to fussing over our minimal wardrobes and trying to hide Sean and Ralph)
Apple on Toothpicks will not be listed as one of the body types featured in In.Style or O.prah when they give advice about what clothes look best on whom. There is the hour glass, straight or boyish figure, big busted, bottom heavy. Where is the "all those extra pounds are hidden under that fantastically styled flowy shirt?" (BTW, so love that roomy shirts have been in style for the past 3 seasons. Of coarse now that I think about it, it sucked to wear maternity style shirts when going through infertility. I hated that people might have questioned if I was pregnant or not).
Lycra and stretchy shirts do not enter my shopping bags or my closet. We all have those items of clothing that should remain on the rack because they simply do not flatter our assets. This is why I love the show What Not to Wear. It teaches women to embrace their body instead of scorning it. What a revelation. I am proud of my body type. I find it amusing and often laugh with my mother (where I get my body from) about the wonderment of having 2-3 stomach rolls when I sit down and upper arms that will be flapping in the wind someday. I do my best to keep my weight at a certain level, but I no longer obsess about it. Thank goodness! Life is too short.
Have that extra piece of cake, drink a margarita, go easy on yourself. Healthy living is key and a very good reason to worry about weight. But, you also have to live life, and if that means having "fat pants" that come out every once in awhile, so be it.
I'm off to get another cookie!
Cheers and happy ICLW.